Psychic Word: Koan

Derived from a word that translates as “authoritative” in the Zen tradition, a Koan is an unanswerable question meant to stop useless mental chatter in favor of meaningful contemplation. Since no definitive answer can be determined focus on the Koan brings about awareness by shifting perspectives. For instance, ask yourself “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” and the fact that one hand can’t really clap may be obvious.

Stay with the question a little longer and all kinds of thoughts are bound to arise… Does one need a second hand to clap or will another surface do? What are we without each other? Should endeavors be undertaken solely for the purpose of satisfying selfish needs…

Voila! Previously garbled (even destructive) inner monologue becomes philosophically and spiritually purposeful… particularly when applied to the situation (ahem) at hand.

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